By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — A Mentone man was sentenced after battering a law enforcement officer while incarcerated.
Derek Michael Bruner, 31, 5678 W. Shilling Road, Mentone, was charged with battery resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer, a level 5 felony.
Bruner was sentenced in Kosciusko Superior Court 2 on Tuesday, Oct. 27.
On Feb. 4, a Kosciusko County Jail officer was informed that Bruner, an inmate, was throwing items and kicking a door. The officer ordered Bruner to stop and handcuffed him. While taking Bruner to a different jail block, a second jail officer arrived to assist.
While being transported, Bruner said he would head-butt one of the officers if he did not let go of him. Bruner then used his head to hit the officer in the nose, causing the officer’s nose to bleed. Other officers arrived and put Bruner in a restraint chair.
A nurse at the jail looked at the officer’s injury and told him his nose could possibly be broken. The officer then went to a local hospital’s emergency room and was told he had a fractured nose.
Defense Attorney David Kolbe said methamphetamine usage is the root of Bruner’s problem and recommended he be placed into the county’s Jail Chemical Addictions Program (JCAP) as part of his sentence.
“He’s made full reconciliation with (the officer),” said Kolbe. “They’re both on very good terms now.”
“We can’t blame methamphetamine use for beating a law enforcement officer while in custody,” said Kosciusko Superior Court 2 Judge Torrey Bauer.
For the battery charge, Judge Bauer sentenced Bruner to two years to be served either locally or at the Indiana Department of Corrections. Bauer said he had no objection to Bruner serving the sentence through the county’s community corrections, work release or home detention programs if he is approved for one of those.
The sentence will be served consecutively to all other criminal cases Bruner is currently serving time for. Two criminal misdemeanor cases were also dismissed as part of the plea agreement.